Vital Football

Toast Season 5 #8 - Tired players in October?

Toast Season 5 #8 - Tired players in October?

Pompey headed back from Elland Road yesterday probably with the thought of what might have been. Despite another poor first half they only trailed by one goal scored from a corner and as the half closed they began to create a few chances. Leeds goal was in fact scored by a player more famous for his part as a fireman in Trumpton.

The second half again chances went a-begging and only some decent defending kept the score at one. So back to back defeats and the International break arrives with the hints of a crisis in the air.

Stephen Henderson made his debut in goal replacing Jamie Ashdown who had a nightmare on Tuesday night against Peterborough. Good to see boss Cotterill taking that positive step when a player has a bad game. He has a squad and must use it. His use of the bench at times recently has been mystifying with players given too little chance to have an effect on the game.

More and more fans are now screaming for the manager`s head but who would they like to replace him and would it have an instant effect. That is all in the hands of the owners but I do not expect them to act rashly. But an improvement in results has got to start soon.

Plastic madness

We look back to 6th October 1981.

Yes this week sees the 30th anniversary of the first ever cup game in England played on an artificial surface.

Queen`s Park Rangers chairman Jim Gregory always the innovator had laid the controversial pitch in the summer of 1981 and after a 4-1 aggregate win over Southend United in Round One Pompey were drawn to play the first leg of Round Two at Loftus Road.

On a wet and windy night the Pompey side who had trained on the pitch before hand were totally exposed and could not gauge the bounce or the speed of the ball and were trounced 5-0; two goals apiece from John Gregory and Gary Mickelwhite and a Peter Ellis own goal.

It was a total embarrassment for the thousands who had trekked up the A3 and filled the away section to capacity - yes I was one of them!

Chris Kamara, in the Pompey side that night famously now says says 'it's unbelievable Jeff!' Well it certainly was.

The artificial pitch was good for Rangers as they reached the Cup Final that season as a second division club and the next season were promoted to Division One.

The forgotten man of football

When he was at Pompey Sean Davis was always the joker in the pack whether mimicking players diving or taking part in hair style contests life was always fun with him around. Davis who was named in the PFA team of the season for Division One (now the Championship) back in 2001/02 also won a dozen caps for England at U21 level around the same time.

He was a very important member of the great escape side in 2006 joining along with Pedro Mendes and Noe Pamarot from Spurs but sadly after three and a half season at the club he was allowed to drift off to Bolton when the financial crisis hit in 2009. In fact the club had reportedly turned down a bid of £3m from the same club six months earlier.

Wretchedly he started just three games for the Trotters before sustaining the first of two serious injuries against Liverpool and requiring surgery to repair an articular cartilage injury. On his comeback in August 2010 he again injured his knee in a game with Manchester City reserves and missed the whole of last season.

However Sean who was thirty two last week is now back in training and reports are that he may be ready to play again soon. I know all fans will wish him the very best of luck on the comeback trail.

Remember Southern Soccer?

A few will I have no doubt. It was the ITV Sunday afternoon football highlights show made by our friends in Southampton. Pompey were only shown once/twice a season and always lost - at least that is what a fan told me last week.

Southern Soccer ran from fifteen years from 1966 to 1981 when the franchise passed from Southern Television to TVS. The first two seasons were in fact back in the days of black and white and 405 lines and Pompey`s first appearance was on 26 November 1966 when Derby County on3-0 at Fratton Park - Alan Durban and Kevin Hector among the scorers. Their last game on the local TV was 14 November 1981 when Carlisle also won at the Park 2-1 with Jeff Hemmerman scoring for the blues.

I have just received loads of stats on the programme and will attempt to put them together to see whether if it true is Pompey always lost.


Have you got an iPhone or iPad? Well there is a saying there is app for everything and true to form there are a number of Pompey Apps available from iTunes?

Portsmouth Soccer Diary by SpringApp Technologies Inc
Football Fans - Portsmouth by Brighthouse Labs
Portsmouth '+` Fanchants & Football Songs by which sounds great fun with songs and chants from real fans that can be adapted into ring tones etc

There are others out there too but heh you will be downloading them and leaving VP which I do not want. So find them yourself and if you do, why not write a review for us all to share?


Congratulations to Ashley Brown - a friend of mine for many years - being appointed the new chair of the Pompey Trust. I have no doubt he will do a good job. Tom Dearie who was the driving force behind 'Fans day' and other successful ventures is the new vice chair.

We have in the last few weeks been promoting events coming up soon. They are the friendly with Rostov this Wednesday 5th October at 7:30 - prices are now just £2!! The aim of the game is to raise money for the families of the victims of the air crash in Yaroslavl last month.

The Club are hosting the Safe Standing Roadshow at the PitchSide Bar Fratton Park on Thursday 13th October between 17.00 and 20.00 .

The Football Supporters` Federation (FSF) will host a free event in Portsmouth on Thursday 20th October (7pm). Watching Football Is Not A Crime! gives fans the chance to question a panel of policing, stewarding, and legal experts, and will be hosted by former Pompey, star Alan McLoughlin. It takes place at The Rifle Club, Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth.

On this day..

Have you been reading the On this Day all this week? I have tried to add a little to it in Rug absence with my memories of some games or players.

Here is a little titbit of my first experience of a derby match.

I took a look back and decided that it has to be 1963 for Match of the Day and my first experience of a derby game. Now this is where it is over to my memory and it was forty eight years ago.

It was a bright sunny late September afternoon when I took my place on the Milton End. The ground was packed with the Pompey kicking off towards the Milton goal. Ron Saunders and Brian Lewis put Pompey 2-0 up very early in the game - twenty minutes or so - but in trying to prevent the second goal visiting keeper Ron Reynolds dislocated his shoulder. It was in fact an injury that would end his career.

Unfortunately for Southampton that was the final season without substitutes and it meant wing half Cliff Huxford had to go in goal and they were down to ten men. Pompey pressed forward but could not add to their tally in the hour that remained but the crowd were more than happy with the win and the two points - it was their first home league win of the season at the fifth attempt. Memory tells me that Huxford did make couple of good saves too.

A few other facts that come to mind - Saunders would score thirty three league goals that season his last before he was sold to Watford the following August. Ron Reynolds the unfortunate keeper was one of the first professional footballers to have worn contact lenses.

That game made left back Roy Lunniss a Pompey hero after the rough treatment he dealt out on England winger Terry Paine.

The next Fratton Park league win over our rivals was a long way away - March 2004 - in fact it was the only league win in a seventy eight year period stretching back to 1926! So perhaps deservedly it is the Vital Pompey game of the game.

I must go and add these short reports to the pompeyrama site too. Before that I am off for the international break - joking see ya next week.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday October 2 2011
Time: 1:00AM


Save, nice one. Went to Leeds yesterday, still in Yorkshire now- thoroughly recommend Sheffield for a night out by the way. I think who ever replaced Cot ((and at 1 win in 18 or 19 games if he doesn't turn it around by end of the month someone will) will see that the players we have can't do Cott's formation, they are not balanced for that formation but 4,4,2 can and until January that's the way Pompey should play. We have a manager that doesn't sincerely accept his own failures and we don't have a consistent goal poacher. Why are we relying heavily on a defender to score from corners when we have a striker going out on loan who looks quite capable? Why do we loft a ball to Erik the diminutive Viking when he is surrounded by high tower centre backs? Seems to me there is a lack of strategic thinking in the team management thinking. A curious question is three times now Cott has pronounced that he doesn't know how he is going to fit certain players in; who selected them and on what basis? I think there are still positive signs and the table is still not that telling in terms of likely finish positions, I agree that a replacement manager is not that obvious and Pompey have to consider the financial costs visapropos fees and compensation of such a move- lest we forget the club is still under an observed budget. No, for me Potty Cotty gets until the end of October before that decision needs to be made; I've no doubt CSI will make a decision if the feel it's warranted. Back to Southern TV footie, who can forget Mr Dineage's paraphrased and widely reported " a fantastic result for Pompey today but later on we will be showing the high lights of Southampton's stunning 0-0 draw". Interesting to read Dave's derby match reports, half those names I've only read in books and the first time I saw Ron Saunders he was a manager speaking on Grandstand .
02/10/2011 08:51:00
This tiredness excuse is trotted out all the time and its rubbish for professional sportsmen who's day job is keeping fit - I won't have it! In that case, why are we filling the international break with a friendly, shouldn't the poor tired dears be in a spa or something? Even I have come round, reluctantly, that SC has to go now, we can't carry on like this. Whats Uncle Avram doing now? Could we get him back, or could we not afford his salary?
02/10/2011 08:51:00
end of oct thats another possible 12 points lost we cant afford that we will be adrift.
02/10/2011 11:38:00
Southern Soccer - I'm sure I saw the Pompey v Norwich game when we came back from 0-3 to 3-3 on the box. A Kellard fluke cross into the net at the Fratton End started the come-back and Dennis Edwards had one disallowed too! I remember watching Ron Saunders and Tony Barton play for Pompey, Both were to become Villa Managers I think? The Museum had AN EXHIBITION a few years back on Pompey, and showed footage of Southern Soccer matches in which I'm sure we won. My Brother whos a lot younger than me was surprised at the good football we were playing - unlike this season's dross.
02/10/2011 15:57:00
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